Loma Linda, Calif. reduces FTTP deployment costs with M2fx's microtrenching process

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The City of Loma Linda, Calif., said it has reduced the installation time and cost of its municipality-wide fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) deployment by using M2fx's suite of pushable fiber cable, ruggedized TuffDuct microducts, and microtrenching products.

By leveraging M2fx's products, the city claims that it lowered deployment costs on the last-mile portion of its FTTP network 64-76 percent, from $50 to just $12-18 per foot.

All of the city's business premises and more than 1,600 houses have been connected to the fiber network, with a large number of them using M2fx Miniflex cable and ducts. Buildings are being added on an ongoing basis, and 800 new homes are scheduled to be built in Loma Linda over the next three years.

City directors said that by shortening deployment time and reducing rollout costs they are providing benefits to both the Loma Linda's 21,000 residents and local businesses, including the city's five major hospitals and a healthcare-focused graduate university with 15,000 medical, dental, and allied healthcare students.

Many of the deployments have been completed by municipal staff, with the landscaping-and-irrigation team laying ducts and the city electrician pulling or pushing fiber to the final destination from the nearest manhole. The use of preconnectorized fiber cables and M2fx distribution patches also reduced installation time.

Already, local hospitals and the local government are seeing benefits of the FTTP network. Hospitals can now share data and conduct remote diagnostics, while new businesses have decided to locate in the city to take advantage of fiber-based connectivity. In addition, the city itself has been able to digitize services, removing paper and increasing efficiency, and improve security through a CCTV camera network built on the network.

Loma Linda is hardly alone in using microtrenching to deploy FTTP. Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG), TeliaSonera, and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) are all investigating similar methods to speed up their respective FTTP deployments.

In 2012, Google Fiber filed a patent application for a narrow edging strip similar to decorative wall molding that would conceal fiber run from demarcation points in streets to subscriber homes. Likewise, Verizon launched a trial in New York City last April where it is using microtrenching in 12 sites across five boroughs, and TeliaSonera began testing the process in 2011 outside Stockholm via its Skanova subsidiary.

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